Shopping in Nassau: Find Authentic Straw Work and Duty-Free Bling

Most people equate the shopping scene in Nassau and sister island Paradise Island to the plethora of name-brand duty-free shops selling perfume, liquor, cigars, electronics and especially jewelry. It is true you can save around 40 percent on such luxury items, but not as much as in some other Caribbean destinations. Check customs limitations and do not plan on bringing any Cuban cigars back to the United States. They are considered contraband.

The duty-free shops abound on and around downtown Nassau's Bay Street shopping area and also at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. The completion of the BahaMar resort development in Cable Beach come December 2014 will bring yet another crop of retail options.

Aside from duty-free goods, shoppers looking for truly authentic souvenirs of the Bahamas can find them in art galleries, craft shops and markets and specialty stores interspersed throughout the twin islands of New Providence and Paradise. Don't miss Doongalik Studios on downtown's outskirts and The Plait Lady at Atlantis resort's Marina Village.

If you do, rest assured that you will find plenty of local products - along with duty-free items and generic tropical souvenirs – to choose from at the airport, although you must expect to pay higher prices. 

Paradise Island
Crystal Court Shops
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

One of the Atlantis resort's hubs for designer products, Crystal Court carries all the names you are looking for in an arcade between the casino and Coral Towers. Shop here for handbags, shoes, crystal, objets d'art, clocks, apparel, perfume,...  Read More


Only steps from the cruise ship port, the Bay Street Straw Market has been a Nassau tradition since the 1940s. The original straw market comprised a block's worth of vendors under one roof; it burned down in 2001. In 2011, a sturdy,...  Read More

Paradise Island
Marina Village
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Opened in 2005, this 65,000 square foot shopping and dining complex is reminiscent of a Caribbean open-air marketplace, with palm trees, colorful architecture (designed by Doongalik's Jackson Burnside) and a lively atmosphere enhanced with...  Read More

This is the unmissable orange, yellow and white building at the entrance to the cruise ship port. The main tourism office and a post office are conveniently situated here, along with a plethora of colorful local arts, crafts, gifts and edibles....  Read More

Cable Beach
Airport shops
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

The new departures terminal at Lynden Pindling International Airport offers some great last minute opportunities to buy authentic souvenirs at a number of shops. Another Graycliff retail space sells cigars, wine, rum, chocolate and related...  Read More

Bay Street

Downtown Nassau's main drag is a bustling, traffic-jammed street filled with Bahamians, cruise ship passengers and other tourists looking for deals on jewelry, perfume, designer purses, electronics and liquor Many of the shops sell flimsy,...  Read More

Graycliff, a short uphill walk from Bay Street, has been the first name in lodging and dining in Nassau since 1973. In 1977, it added a hand-rolled cigar factory to its operations that deal in the finer things in life. In 2012, owners opened...  Read More

Paradise Island
The Plait Lady
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Fact #1: The downtown Nassau Straw Market carries very little Bahamian straw work. Fact #2: The real stuff is created mostly on Out Islands such as Long and Andros Island. Hand craftsmen dry, strip, plait and sew together strips made from...  Read More

Coin of the Realm
Photo courtesy of Coin of the Realm

When you enter the doors of this cut limestone building, you are entering over 200 years of history and a store truly telling of local culture and history. Coin of the Realm is one of few local shops that sells jewelry made with conch...  Read More

Doongalik Studios Art Gallery
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Away from the Bay Street throngs, but worth the taxi fare if you are looking for authentic arts and crafts, Doogalik Studios was created by the late great master of Junkanoo art, Jackson Burnside and wife Pam, to promote local culture, art and...  Read More


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×